Josh Benson back in Barnsley FC contention with key midfielder suspended at Carlisle United

With Herbie Kane suspended, Josh Benson will come into contention for Barnsley's League One trip to Carlisle United but coach Neill Collins is wary of asking too much too soon of the midfielder.

The Liverpool youth product has started 34 of 36 league matches this season but a booking in Saturday's surprise 5-1 defeat at home to Lincoln City, his 10th of the campaign, means he will miss Tuesday's match at Brunton park and Saturday's visit of Cheltenham Town.

Benson has been missing since November – itself only his sixth start of an injury-hit campaign – but got some vital minutes for the under-21s against Wigan Athletic on Thursday.

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The temptation to throw him straight back into the fray is obvious, but Collins struck a cautious tone.

CAUTION: Barnsley coach Neill Collins is wary of pushing Josh Benson too hard, too soonCAUTION: Barnsley coach Neill Collins is wary of pushing Josh Benson too hard, too soon
CAUTION: Barnsley coach Neill Collins is wary of pushing Josh Benson too hard, too soon

"He's got to come into contention but you've also got to recognise that 65 minutes in three or four months, it's just a sign of where we're at that he comes into contention but he's going to need more football to be ready to impact the team," warned Collins.

"Herbie's been a mainstay but it's an opportunity for someone to stake their claim.

"We'll need to look at that and make a decision tomorrow night."

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The size of Saturday's defeat for a team whose steadiness has been a real hallmark of their season.

Only once, in August, have the Reds lost back-to-back matches under Collins, and he is pleased of a quick opportunity to set things straight.

"We can't put it down to a bad day at the office," he said.

"That's the great thing about this league, you're out again tomorrow. There's 46 games and no hiding place. It's about being more than just a good side, it's about being resilient and having strength in depth. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

Collins reported no fresh injury concerns from the weekend, but was unable to provide an update on the fitness of central defender Donovan Pines, who missed Saturday's game after picking up a knock in the midweek draw with Bolton Wanderers.

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Barnsley hope to find out before Tuesday's game kick off if their match at Portsmouth on March 23 will be called off due to international call-ups with Jamaican internationals Devante Cole and Jon Russell, plus Portuguese youth international Fabio Jalo hoping to get the call.

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